How to Build a Better Basket
Gift Baskets are the rage at fund raising auctions across the country. It is a way to combine many smaller contributions into a larger whole. It can also be a good way to showcase gift certificates and such, lending them some girth rather than just a piece of paper lying on a table with so many other pieces of paper.
Here are a few guidelines to help you build an eye-catching basket for your function or just for personal gift giving.
1. Put in plenty of paper and support in the bottom. You don’t want all your items to sink. You need good newsprint or paper bags to hold everything up. People want to see what they are bidding on. Plus it makes it all look bigger, thus more expensive.
2. Create a theme for your gift; this helps make it easy to understand. It can be as simple as just artisan food or as complete as a movie night with popcorn, a bowl, movie candy, a dvd or a rental card and the like. Some popular themes are: Movie Night, Tea and Coffee, Breaktime, Relax and Unwind, Pasta, Gourmet Gift Baskets (in all sorts of varieties including cooking and eating), Picnic, Spa, Family Night, Farmer’s Market Finds, Romantic Evening, Gardening and on and on and on….I’ve been in this business for over 23 years and am still finding new and fun themes.
3. Beyond a theme, create what at Fancifull we call “a moment.” When planning your basket think of someone getting it and having it contain all the ingredients for a great night. If it is Romance it can have champagne, glasses, a cd, candles, something to eat, napkins and matches. A Break Time theme might have a book, coffee and/or tea, cookies, a candle, slippers and so on. Pancake mix and syrup in a batter bowl with coffee and breakfast goodies makes a terrific gift.
4. Use a reusable container. Baskets are good, but add value by making your gift in something that people will really use. At Fancifull we have used such things as: Picnic Packs and Baskets, Rice Buckets, Movie themed tins, Trunks, Trays, Drink Tubs, Punch Bowls, Wine Buckets, Shopping Totes, Hat Boxes, Magazine Racks, Bowls, Pitchers, Colanders, Bamboo Bowls, Photo Boxes, Small Barbeques and anything else that will hold stuff.
5. Get good shred, we use something called sizzle pack, and use it to keep your product upright. You don’t want it falling over or coming apart. You use the shred as a foundation, keeping all things packed in and upright. You always need more than you think so pack it in. I often grab some, pack it together and then shove it behind an object to help it stand up properly.
6. When you have gift certificates pair them with say a bottle of wine and put them on a small tray. They will stand out more. If you have a spa certificate put it with a few bath products or a candle.
7. I design most of our baskets with all product facing front. This allows you to see all. Start with your tall product in the back and come forward. The front is often your “focal point,” what people are going to focus on when they look at the basket. Make sure you make it interesting. If your bow is going to cover the front of the basket be sure the selling point is visible in another way. If it is a gift card it might be taped to something tall so you can see it.
8. Color: there are many design basics I could go over but one of the most important is color. There are whole classes on the use of color but here are a few tricks that make an impact. Monochromatics make a strong impression. This means one main color – it can be tints and shades of that color such as Red into Pink down to Burgundy. Chartruese to deep green. The other simple way to think of colors is: warm and cool. Cool colors are blues, greens, purples. Warm is Red, Orange, and Yellow and mixtures of such. Sticking to Cool or Warm can impart a message. A spa basket in blues and greens makes you think of water, they are calming colors. Warm is fiery and sunny. I think of these colors for a Cheer Up gift (think sunflowers), Summer Fun, Mexican Cooking, anything where you want bright and fun. Of course you can brighten up blues and green by going with turquoise and lime green, but they will still be a bit cooler than yellow and orange.
9. If you don’t know how to make a big fancy bow you can stick with simple. Find wired ribbon, it makes things very easy. You can also get a wide ribbon or even cut fabric into about a 20 inch width and just do a big shoelace kind of bow. The fabric is so wide you don’t have to make numerous loops. Raffia, which is sold in many craft and party stores, makes a simple bow but looks great. You can also use fabric, bandanas, kitchen towels and such to finish it off. If it is a gardening theme put a hat on top and call it a day.
10. If you run out of time or can’t do it, take it to an expert. We have designed many a give away, raffle and auction basket at Fancifull. The range is truly from the sublime to the ridiculous (one was over 3 feet high with oh, I’d say about 30 dvds. We have the expert designers standing by to make the beautiful custom gift baskets you want to send. It may cost a bit more but often garners bigger bids. We’re here in case of emergencies. Call us at 323.466.7654
Why send a “gift” basket when you can send a Fancifull Basket?